meets Final Fantasy once again in Kingdom Hearts:
Chain of Memories. You may have played the PS2 version
but this GBA title is no small change. Chain of Memories
kicks the story back into gear. Midway through I forgot
I was playing this on the tiny handheld system. It's
full of depth, adventure and whimsy. It's not important
that you be familiar with the original, in some respects
it may be better since you visit the same places over
again. There are new characters and missions and the
storyline will keep you intrigued and entertained.
Goofy and Sora find themselves locked in the Castle
of Oblivion. They must explore all of the rooms to
find items which in turn will gain them deeper access
to the castle so that they can locate and free Mickey
and Sora's friend, Riku. A group called the Organization
is tapping into Sora's mind, giving our heroes the
illusion of exploring other worlds when in fact they
are just inside Sora's thoughts. The Organization
wants to trick the trio into doing their evil bidding.
don't want to give away any of the surprises to newcomers,
but there are a number of famous characters and locations
that you will encounter. If you've played the original
you've already met them. I only say this because I
don't want you to get your hopes up and be disappointed
with the game. A PS2 sequel is in the works and that
one promises to have a host of new characters and
is performed with a mix of real time and card battling.
The Heartless are the thugs in this world. Many times
you can avoid them but when you want to mix it up
you're going to need some cards to empower you.
can be collected from enemies, found through exploration
or earned from performing tasks. Although you will
have a deck of cards you can only see four at a time.
The highest cards are the most valuable, as the highest
numbered card wins an attack against the other player.
It's in your best interest to stack your deck with
the highest cards possible, in order, starting with
the highest. Cards are worth anywhere from 0 to nine
points. Zero is unique. If you play it after an enemy
attack it will be reversed.
rage on even when all your cards have been played.
Then it's a matter of re-shuffling the deck. This
takes time and leaves you vulnerable to attack. It's
possible to play two cards at once and unleash devastating
combos but that will result in the first combo card
being taken out of circulation. You'll have less in
your deck which means more re-shuffling which in turns
opens you up to more attacks.
bosses use combos a lot. If you can manage to keep
from getting pulverized, you can attack the boss when
he's re-shuffling. It's a bit of strategy that will
keep your mind engaged while your fingers are busy
causing your character to run and jump around in the
battle arena. There's a lot going on and things can
get intense. It does get tiring after a while since
there is an element of luck to the battles which reduces
your chances to develop killer skills. There is some
violence in this game, but since Disney is involved,
it's been toned down to "parent-approved"
one may expect, the animation and graphics are great.
There are some 3D animated scenes which look good
enough to spawn a cartoon series. Occasionally you'll
hear some voice samples but all of the important dialog
is text-based. Every different attack has a different
sound effect. The background music is impressive with
the main theme surfacing in different variations.
The effect is one of cohesion as opposed to repetition.
of Memories may not be the definitive RPG but it's
got enough character to be in a class all by itself.